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Performing Arts: Music A.S.

The Performing Arts: Music degree program is primarily for students who wish to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a baccalaureate degree in music. Students in the program may select electives to support transfer into music education, performance, jazz studies or other fields. The School of Music features state-of-the-art facilities including performance and rehearsal spaces, recording studios, digital classrooms and labs.

A successful audition is required for admission to this program. For further information, please see Audition Requirements.

Graduates of the SUNY Schenectady School of Music A.S. program have pursued successful careers as public school music educators, university professors, performers, music therapists, composers, and in nearly all professional fields in music.

Flexible Degree Options

  • Students in the program have the opportunity to earn field observation credits enabling smooth transfer into music education programs.
  • Performance students may elect intense study of studio literature and earn recital credit.
  • Students interested in jazz and popular music may study improvisation, and jazz and rock music history.

Transfer Options

The SUNY Schenectady School of Music has articulation agreements with numerous four-year music schools, enabling smooth transfer for our graduates. For further information, please see our Music Transfer Agreements.


The Performing Arts: Music provides rigorous training in music performance, skills, theory, and history comparable to the first two years of a baccalaureate degree. Students in the program select electives to support transfer into music education, performance, jazz studies and other programs.

The program prepares graduates to:

Goal I: Achieve musicianship with a concentration in voice, piano, organ, guitar or an orchestral instrument.

  • Attain musicianship competencies through four semesters of private study
  • Display attainment of School of Music repertory and recital standards through performances in classes and recitals
  • Complete an annual performance examination
  • Study a minimum of one semester of foreign language to attain competency in text and diction. (Voice majors only)

Goal II: Demonstrate ensemble musicianship.

  • Perform in a major ensemble for a minimum of four semesters
  • Demonstrate ensemble performance skills in rhythm, intonation, balance, and timbre

Goal III: Acquire technical competency in music theoretical and analytical skills.

  • Identify and analyze the technical components of musical compositions
  • Acquire keyboard skills for teaching, accompaniment, and analysis; and
  • Apply analytical skills as a conductor in score study and rehearsal techniques

Goal IV: Achieve aesthetic awareness for a broad range of musical literature and style periods from antiquity to the present.

  • Examine, identify and describe western art music from all style periods through study in two semesters of Literature and Style

Goal V: Demonstrate a core of knowledge from a minimum of seven liberal arts courses from the approved SUNY Schenectady SUNY General Education course list to facilitate transfer and advanced study within a discipline.

  • Analyze, identify and describe different cultural perspectives in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts through study of their impact and influence on music styles development
  • Analyze, identify and describe different theoretical perspectives in the humanities, social sciences, and arts and their impact on the development of western music
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills in music rehearsal and teaching environments
  • Demonstrate metaliteracy by locating, evaluating and utilizing music related information from a variety of sources, including online and other electronic media

For Students Planning to Transfer in Music Education

Goal I: Acquire foundation for transfer to a music education program.

  • Demonstrate music pedagogical skills (applied techniques) for various instruments/voice
  • Define current methods and practice of school music teaching
  • Complete 60 hours of observation in elementary and secondary school settings
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Degree Plan

See the degree requirements and suggested course sequence.

Degree Plan

SUNY Schenectady is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) logo, links to NASM's website